One million people have fled Ukraine in search of safety in the past seven days, according to the United Nations.
The mass movement began almost immediately after Russia launched its unprovoked invasion, the largest in Europe since World War II.
“For many millions more, inside Ukraine, it’s time for guns to fall silent, so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi tweeted Wednesday.
More than half of the refugees have fled to Poland, Ukraine’s western neighbor, according to UN data.
Ukraine’s population was estimated at 44 million, meaning that 2% of all people in the country have exited in the past week, many leaving with little more than they could carry or fit into a car.
The UN estimates up to 4 million people could flee Ukraine during the war, but has noted even that estimate could be low. The world’s worst refugee crisis at the moment spawns from Syria, where 5.7 million people have left in search of safety since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011.
Many reports indicate that Poland and other countries have welcomed refugees with open arms, but that hasn’t been the case for everyone.
“They stopped us at the border and told us that Blacks were not allowed. But we could see white people going through,” Moustapha Bagui Sylla, a student from Guinea, told France 24.
“They won’t let Africans in. Blacks without European passports cannot cross the border,” a Nigerian student named Michael told the outlet. “They’re pushing us back just because we’re Black!”
Polish leaders and Ukrainian border patrol officials have blamed each other for the discrimination.
According to Ukrainian policy, the only people not allowed to leave the country are Ukrainian men between ages 18 and 60, who are required to join the war effort.
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